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Center Party to continue without coalition partner in Tallinn

After negotiations with the Social Democrats earlier this week, the Center Party have decided to continue in Tallinn without a coalition partner. Social Democrat Rainer Vakra said on Wednesday evening that he was “disappointed” about the decision, and that it showed that the Center Party really wasn’t ready for things in Tallinn to change.

After the local elections on Oct. 15, the Center Party has lost some of its strength, but still holds 40 out of 79 mandates on the city council. This small margin could be a problem if the party’s internal quarrels continue, which is why they did consider finding a coalition partner to broaden their support on the council.

But after negotiations were held with the Social Democrats earlier this week, the Center Party announced on Wednesday evening that they didn’t see the “necessary consensus” for a coalition. The Center Party’s candidate for mayor, Taavi Aas, said on ERR’s Aktuaalne kaamera newscast that the negotiations never even made it to the essential issues.

Aas believes that his party will manage even with a majority of just one mandate. According to information available to ERR, the real obstacle in the negotiations was that the Social Democrats demanded the chairmanship of the city council, while deputy mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) is also claiming the position for himself.

While the elections on Oct. 15 clearly broke former party chairman Edgar Savisaar’s monopoly on the Russian vote in the city, Kõlvart emerged as the new favorite, getting more than 24,000 personal votes to his name. This is a fact that the Center Party can’t ignore.

Vakra: Center Party doesn’t want real partner

According to Social Democrat Rainer Vakra, who was his party’s candidate for mayor, the Center Party isn’t interested in sharing power. The condition of the Social Democrats for joining the Center Party would have been that the result would be a coalition of equal partners.

Vakra also said that the Center Party’s wish to make Kõlvart chairman of the city council had been a major obstacle, and a demand Center weren’t ready to discuss.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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